When this decade began, MP3s still reigned supreme. Now, at the end of it, a song is no longer even a file — it’s ephemera, on every streaming service and available to hear in myriad ways. For better and worse, the song (and the single) have become the norm for the general public’s music consumption. More »
Grant Kwiecinski, better known as Detroit-based DJ and producer GRiZ, has spent the last few years modestly making major career moves. Aside from his penchant for touring and festival performances, he released the second edition of his Chasing the Golden Hour mixtape series in 2017, and started quietly releasing singles towards the end of 2018. Now back in full force, GRiZ has released his sixth studio album, Ride Waves.
An album full of features, GRiZ maneuvers previously uncharted territories with high profile talent like Snoop Dogg, Bootsy Collins, and Wiz Khalifa, while bringing on some long-time favorites like Muzzy Bearr, Yoshi Flower (formerly of Gosh Pith), and Leo Napier. With funk and bass taking a front seat as always, Ride Waves expands on GRiZ’s classic sound over 14 tracks, which can all be streamed below.
Trae Tha Truth is a well-regarded veteran of the Houston rap underground. He used to be half of the duo ABN — Assholes By Nature, great name — with his cousin Z-Ro. These days, he persistently cranks out muttery fast-rap jams and occasionally takes advantage of his considerable rap-world connections. Every so often, Trae rounds … More »
Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.
2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.
We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”
Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.
Every year, the parameters for this list get a little more specious. With the rise of streaming services and the decline of physical media, the distinctions between a 7″ and a 12″ have largely faded away. Today, everything is a “project” or a “collection” or (groan) a “playlist.” Artists are still releasing EPs in name, … More »
GRiZ has made his soulful return to electronic frontlines with a double-dose of his boogie emblem. In 2018, GRiZ has been wowing funk-friendly crowds near and far, at hallowed venues like Chicago’s Navy Pier and Red Rocks, with the help of his newly instated 15-piece live band.
The two new tracks, “It Gets Better” and “Can’t Get Enough,” mark the end of a year of release dormancy for the longstanding hallmark in the electronic circuit. The latter of offerings ushers in GRiZ’s inaugural vocal display, as the Denver-based producer delivers his own rap verse, over a bout of his characteristically glitchy guitar riffs. Choral supplement runs abound in “It Gets Better,” which features the GRiZ-adjacent proponent of all things “love and positivity,” Virginian rapper, D.R.A.M.. Both tracks fit neatly inside GRiZ’s perpetual good-time arena—while he continues to stretch into formerly untapped artistic reservoirs.
Chromeo‘s DRAM-assisted “Must’ve Been” has been given a stunning overhaul by fast rising R&B duo THEY. The original track has been in rotation since April as an up-beat single from the Funklordz latest LP Head Over Heels, featuring an infectious hook courtesy of the Virginia-born rapper and an ultra-cheeky music video to match. The song previously received remix treatments from artists including CID, Mercer, and Yolanda Be Cool.
Mind of a Genius-championed production outfit THEY. take the original’s chorus and a slinky new verse from singer Drew Love, and lay them over a lush, retro-inspired R&B production from the duo’s producer Dante Jones. The result isn’t just a remix, but a unique reimagining of the original canvas. Even Chromeo themselves admit THEY.’s take caught them by surprise, and could be even better than the original. Dave 1 elaborated to Complex,
“Obviously we’ve been fans of THEY. for a minute (Dante’s a genius producer). We were initially expecting some sort of remix or rework but they’ve turned ‘Must’ve Been’ into an entire different song! Not gonna lie, it might be better than the original.”
Although he’s released a fair amount of collaborations, we hadn’t heard much from DRAM under his own name since his 2016 full-length Big Baby D.R.A.M. until the rapper-singer surprise-released his That’s A Girls Name EP last month. It was very good. Today he’s sharing the music video for the EP’s lead … More »
DRAM has effectively surprised his listeners by dropping a brand new EP out of the blue — an increasingly common practice in the music industry. That’s A Girls Name contains three tracks: “Best Hugs,” “WWYD?” and “Sundress.” With a laid-back vibe and live feel, this EP screams summer. “Best Hugs” and “WWYD” bring a chilled, California-inspired atmosphere behind DRAM’s uplifting vocals. “Sundress” has a more indie feel, with a leading bass line atop a rock canvas.
The talented vocalist has proven his vast range in both a singing and a production sense across multiple releases. For further inspection into DRAM’s chops, check out his stripped-down rendition of Andre 3000s “Prototype.”
His last EP was his Christmas project, #1HappyHoliday. Since then, he’s collaborated with Diplo, Charlie Heat, Chromeo, and Neil Young. The Virginia-born’s debut album, Big Baby DRAM, which featured his breakout hit, “Broccoli” with Lil Yachty, dropped in 2016, boasting appearances from Young Thug and Erykah Badu. His debut single, “Cha Cha,” was also a piece of audio heat.
Photo Credit: @bigbabydram/Soundcloud
Right up until the release of their brand new album, Head Over Heels, Chromeo was building up to the massive amount of funk that would follow.
One of the most outright instances of this was when the duo took the Late Show with Colbert and DRAM to play out the LP’s first single, “Must’ve Been,” the night before the album’s release.
In an effort that would only go on to ensure listeners would continue to fall head over heels for the new material, Chromeo let the funk flow, bringing out a full-on gospel choir and letting loose.
Photo Credit: Tim Saccenti